In the early days of Google, every result on the SERP -the page that appears with a user’s results when they type a search into Google- looked the same, and these traditional organic results have not changed much in appearance over the years.
What is a Search Engine Results Page (SERP)
It is the list of results that a search engine returns in response to a specific word or phrase query. Each listing includes the linked Web page title, the linked page URL (Uniform Resource Locator), a brief description of the page content and, in some cases, links to points of interest within the website.
Search results are generally triggered by keywords that the user may have included in the query. Search engines work hard to customize the experience to each individual user, meaning that you’ll rarely see the same results twice – even using the same search engine.
You’ll also notice that like most things, search engines change with the times. New search algorithms mean changing results, and updated features lead to the appearance of maps, images, videos, and more in your SERP.
The Types of Results on a SERP
There are three main types of results on a SERP:
- Pages that the search engine spider has crawled and indexed.
- pages that have been manually added to the search engine’s directory
- pages that appear as a result of paid inclusion.
In most cases, search engine users will look at only the first one to three pages of hits results. so, web designers and site owners use search engine optimization (SEO) methods to make their sites and pages appear at or near the top of a SERP. But, the highest-ranking hits generally link to the most useful information; links grow less relevant as they move farther down the list.
Depending on the number of Web pages that contain a particular word or phrase, a SERP might show anywhere from zero (in the case of no matches at all) to millions of items. For example, entering the phrase “complex-number admittance” into the Google search engine yields few results. In contrast, entering the single word “hurricane” yields millions of results.
What is a SERP Feature
A SERP feature is any result on a Google Search Engine Results Page that is not a traditional organic result. The most common SERP Features are:
- Rich Snippets which add a visual layer to an existing result (e.g., review stars for product ratings)
- Paid Results that are bought by bidding on keywords (e.g., AdWords or Google Shopping)
- Universal Results that appear in addition to organic results (e.g., image results, new results, featured snippets)
- Knowledge Graph data which appears as panels or boxes (e.g., weather, Celebrity Knowledge Panel)
The Google SERPs
It’s the most dominant search engine in the space. Admit it – when you go to search for something on the web, you don’t think twice about which search engine you’re going to. You don’t even search for something anymore. You Google it.
Back in October 2016, Google commanded 59.2% of the total internet searches. By May 2017, that number had risen to 62.6%. That’s a 3.4% increase in less than a year. not only is Google clearly holding strong at the top, but it’s also increasing. And while any savvy SEO will focus their efforts in many directions, they know that when it comes to dominating the SERPs, Google is king.